Wales

Unison's NHS workers in Wales vote to strike over pay

NHS strike picket from England Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption NHS staff have been offered a one-off payment of £160 in lieu of a pay rise

Thousands of NHS staff in Wales have voted to take strike action in a row over pay.

Unison says the Welsh government offer of a payment of £160 to all staff is not enough.

The Welsh government said it is disappointed with the ballot result as pay discussions were ongoing.

Unison said its members in Wales voted by almost 4-1 in favour of strikes and by 9-1 for other forms of industrial action.

More than 5,700 took part in the ballot.

Last week, thousands of health workers, including nurses, midwives and ambulance staff, took part in a strike in England and Northern Ireland in a dispute over pay.

Unison regional secretary in Wales Margaret Thomas said: "Our members working in the Welsh NHS have sent a clear message that they are worth more than a miserly £160.

'Future action'

"NHS workers in Wales have spoken loud and clear and it is time for the Welsh government to come to the table and negotiate a fair pay deal for our members."

She said the union's health committee will now consider its response to the result of the ballot and "how any potential action in Wales could be coordinated with future action taken on pay in England".

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "The reality is that by 2015-16 the Welsh government's budget will be 10% lower in real terms than it was in 2010-11 - a reduction which equates to £1.5bn less.

"With pay accounting for more than 60% of the NHS budget we have no choice but to consider some form of pay restraint to maintain jobs and frontline services."

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